Land of pirates, settlers and Maroons. Located in the northeast of the Dominican Republic, it is an ecotourism destination. Its breathtaking mountain scenery, beautiful coconut groves, picturesque villages of colorful houses, stunning waterfalls and pristine beaches are all part of this paradise where there are still virgin corners capable of surprising all five of our senses.
A place where time seems to have stood still, where its wild-looking beaches remind us of the famous Daniel Defoe novel Robinson Crusoe. As in all tourist areas of the island, it has a high number of foreign residents, mostly French and Italian, followed by Swiss, Canadian and German. Samanà Peninsula is comprised of three municipalities: the capital, Samaná, Las Terrenas and Sanchez.
- For those traveling to this part of the island, we recommend carrying cash, because there aren’t many ATMs, and credit card payments are not widely accepted.
- If you plan to explore the Samaná Peninsula on your own, we suggest you rent a 4 x 4 to get around. The most secluded beaches, in fact, are only possible to access on foot.
- Bring some candy to give to children who will approach to welcome you when you walk through Samaná. Their smiles of thanks will be a reward that will fill you with joy.
Its complete name is Santa Bárbara de Samaná, a town in the southern part of the Samaná Peninsula facing the Bay of Samaná, where every year humpback whales come to mate and reproduce in the warm waters. The journey from El Catey International Airport (AZS) is about 45 minutes by car. It has a charming harbor, bright-colored houses, and terraces and restaurants, which offer tasty dishes such as fresh fish and seafood combined with coconut... a delight for any palate!
The picturesque villages of El Limón, Las Galeras and Arroyo Barril are the districts that make up the municipality of Samaná city.
This is a small town located to the northwest of the Samaná Peninsula, about 45 minutes from Samaná city and two hours from Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo (SDQ). As in other resort areas on the island, Las Terrenas is a cosmopolitan town, and where citizens of different European nationalities have chosen this charming and peaceful village as their residence. As a result, it has a wide variety of bars, restaurants and international businesses from which to choose.
Its superb white-sand beaches and clear waters are what motivate thousands of tourists to come to the Samaná Peninsula throughout the year. To drive to Las Terrenas we recommend renting a 4 x 4 because of the difficulty of some of its roads. Spectacular views can be seen along the scenic mountain road from Sanchez to Las Terrenas, such as the Bay of Samaná, Los Haitises National Park and the Atlantic coast, which will take your breath away.
Things to Do in Samaná Peninsula
- Its pristine beaches, as for the rest of the Dominican Republic, is the main reason visitors come to Samaná. From Las Terrenas to Las Galeras and up to Samaná, you can go sailing, snorkeling or diving. Click here to find the best beaches to visit during your vacation in Samaná Peninsula.
- The most famous attraction on the Samaná Peninsula is the observation of humpback whales; Megáptero novaeangliae – which migrate to Samaná Bay during the months of January to March. Samaná Bay is the only place in the Caribbean where you can watch them.
- If you visit the waterfall El Salto El Limon at Las Terrenas, you can go hiking, ride a mule or go canyoneering.
- Las Galeras is also a destination for adventure: rock climbing, mounting biking, surfing and diving are some examples of activities you can do.
- Diving: Cabo Cabron and Cabo Samaná are two ideal locations on the northeast of the Samaná Peninsula to practice diving for both beginners and veterans, because there are several points where you can dive and discover wonderful underwater scenery. For experienced divers, you should not miss the opportunity to explore the famous "Tower" of coral, which starts at 7 m beneath the surface and goes down to 55 m. It is common to see Carey turtles, lobsters and crabs.
How to get Samaná Peninsula
Charter flights. A limited number of international flights reach the International Airport El Catey (AZS). If your flight arrives at Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, Santiago or Punta Cana, there are regional flights that will take you to the International Airport El Catey, located about 30 minutes from Samaná city, or to the existing national airports on the Samaná Peninsula: Arroyo Barril (
Private flights. Several private companies fly to Samaná Peninsula, landing at El Catey International Airport (AZS) or at its two domestic airports Arroyo Barril (
Bus. For long distances, this is the cheapest way to travel in the Dominican Republic:
Bus to Samaná:
- From Santo Domingo, in about two hours, you reach your destination: take the bus company Caribe Tours on 27 February Avenue (cost 320RDS). For reservations and schedules visit Caribe Tours website.
- From Punta Cana or Bavaro, the tour is as follows: with the company Sitrabapu to Higuey 120RDS, to Hato Mayor, 110RDS and to Sabana de la Mar, 75RDS. From there, catch a boat to Samaná City. Sitrabapu Tel. +1 809 554 4260
Bus to Las Terrenas: From Santo Domingo, take the bus company Caribe Tours on 27 February Avenue to the town of Sanchez (cost 320 RDS) on the Samaná Peninsula, and from there take one of several buses that you will find at the bus stop offering its services to Las Terrenas. The trip is through the mountains and offers spectacular scenery, and it is advisable to do it by day for the panorama, and because of the condition of the road.
- Santo Domingo Las Americas Airport-Samaná City: 3 hours, $200
- Santo Domingo Las Americas Airport-Las Terrenas: 3 hours, $190
- Punta Cana-Samaná City: 5 hours, $350
- El Catey International Airport-Las Terrenas: $50
Boat. Arrive by road to Sabana de la Mar and from there take a boat to Samanà. Make sure that you agree to the price before the boat leaves the dock!
The Samaná Peninsula offers a wide variety of excursions and activities within less than two hours by car:
Las Terrenas, Las Galeras, Cayo Levantado, Salto El Limón, Salto Lulú, Los Haitises Natural Park.
Located in the heart of the Samaná Peninsula, is a 50 m high waterfall surrounded by magnificent lush tropical vegetation. Have you ever dreamed of being under a spectacular waterfall and taking a swim in its waters? Well, your dream can become reality! To make the trip to this splendid waterfall, there are several options:
Tips. Wear hiking boots for this, because the road is steep with rocks, mud and water. Do not forget your swimsuit for when you get to jump in. And remember to tip the guides for their great work. Here we recommend a guide with years of experience for making trips to the Salto del Limón: cascadalimonsamana.com
Did you know that... In 1819 the painter Theodore Chassériau was born in the village of El Limón, in what was then a French colony.
Salto Lulu. Located on the north side of the Samaná Peninsula, the Cascade Lulu is more accessible than the Salto El Limón – great for children and people with some difficulty walking. The road to the waterfall Lulu is the same as it takes to go to Playa El Valle. After crossing a small river, to get to Playa El Valle you have to turn to the left (to get to Lulu you should turn to the right) and you are there in one minute. It is important to go in a 4x4 vehicle. The road to the waterfall offers spectacular scenery, lush scenery, and is full of cocoa and coffee trees. Upon your return, you can buy some products at a "typical house" that are produced locally and, by doing so, help the local people.